Tuesday, October 13, 2009

McDonnell's Consistent Record

In yesterday's News Leader, the superintendent of Staunton Public Schools, Steven Nichols said he didn't want to sound "doom and gloom" but it was hard to read the article without getting that distinct feeling. The only thing that kept Staunton and most other school districts from large scale layoffs, big cuts in academic and sports programs, and other drastic measures was the federal stimulus money. I guess Nichols didn't totally believe his reassuring words either, because, as he anticipated future budgets he said, "we're in real trouble."
So, that got me to wondering about Bob McDonnells' commitment to k-12 education in the Commonwealth. I know Creigh Deeds is a strong supporter of children and public education - I have had the privilege of occasionally working on education issues with him since he served in the House of Delegates. But, what about Bob McDonnell? In these tough economic times, it is important to know where the men stand and how much of a priority education is while writing a budget.
In his infamous 1989 thesis McDonnell wrote that public schools should only provide a "minimum level of self-sufficiency." He also implied that increased school funding was linked to failing SAT scores. What the cluck? He thinks minimum self-sufficiency is good enough for Virginia's kids? If Bob McDonnell and his friends had been steering the ship of state, Virginia would never have been named the best place for a child to be born and grow up. We'd probably never have been named the best place to do business either... a quality and well educated (not minimum education/skills) is essential to attracting new business and keeping our existing ones.
Bob McDonnell has dishonestly making himself appear to be a moderate much like Mark Warner. But, when it comes to funding public eduction, Bob McDonnell has never delivered. For example, McDonnell opposed Warner's budget amendment that committed an additional $1.5 billion to education, the largest increase in Virginia history. To paraphrase a famous gentleman from Texas, I know Mark Warner, Bob McDonnell is no Mark Warner... not when is comes to a commitment to K-12 education. Or, in any other way!
Bob McDonnell's "plan" for fixing Virginia's transportation problems is to borrow (get out the credit card) and to take $5.4 billion out of the General Fund. Now all that sounds painless, right? Well, economists understand (even if McDonnell doesn't) that everything has a cost, known as opportunity cost. Since the General Fund pays for K-12 and higher education, for public safety, for parks, and most other core services, if McDonnell robs Peter to pay Paul the cost will be borne by local schools, by Sheriff's Departments, and by local government. What? The McDonnell plan will mean fewer teachers, fewer deputies on patrol, and may force my county to raise taxes? Yep... it is dishonest budgeting that I'd call shift and shaft. No wonder a number of fiscally responsible Republican leaders who understand the state budget are supporting Creigh Deeds, his sound transportation plan, and his career-long commitment to education.
We can at least say Bob McDonnell is consistent. Consistently bad for public education.


Anonymous said...

You might want to be nice to Bob McDonnell he WILL be the next governor of Va.Like the Democrats said YES WE DID now i say YES YOU DID now reap the harvest. I knew Obama had to be good at something turns out he is good at helping Republicans get elected.

J. Tyler Ballance said...

It is unfair and inaccurate to slap Mr. McDonnell with being wrng on everything.

Mr. Deeds is the better choice for Virginia's next Governor, not because Bob McDonnell is Pat Robertson's secret clone, or other such nonsense, but because Mr. Deeds has a legislative record, a mile long, where he has stood-up for our citizens.

Mr. McDonnell is a tool for the multinational corporations who are eagerly looting Virginia and shipping our jobs to China.

Mr. Deeds has always stood with the working Man and he is the best equipped candidate to work across the partisan divide, as well as with local and national governments to help get us back on the road to prosperity.

Anonymous said...

If McDonnell is elected we'll have 8 miserable years. 4 while he's in office and 4 more while somebody has to clean up the mess.

Anonymous said...

Thats the very reason Creigh(whats in your wallet)Deeds will not win the people of Va are sick of sending Democrats into office to spend BIG money without any long term results. The RPV will surely send Kaine and Obama a thank you card.